The Internet of Things and the Third Wave

Abstract fractal waves, lights and abstract design elements: AVS Integration Blog

The major technological periods in history have often come in waves – from the Stone Age to the Industrial Revolution to the Space Age.

In more modern times, the First Wave (machine to person) occurred with the use of mainframe computer systems for operations management. The Second Wave (person to person) was ushered in with the rise of smartphones and social Internet. We are now poised to enter the Third Wave (machine to machine) with the Internet of Things (IoT).

What does IoT mean for you? It means that items we may have only dreamed of can become reality.  Items once thought as “dumb” – like our homes or our cars – become connected and through that connection, smart.

Here’s a timeline of what your daily routine might look like in the Third Wave:

6am- Your alarm chimes. You exit bed and walk to the bathroom. Since it’s a workday, your presence and time indicates your shower to turn on.

6:05am- Your bed determines that you’re starting your day and instructs the coffee pot to brew. Your thermostat adjusts to make you comfortable downstairs.

6:45am- While you’re drinking coffee, your house reads you the paper. Upon learning the weather is cold, you ask your house to start your car because it’s too cold to walk.

7:00am- Ready to leave, your garage opens and the car—a comfortable 74º F—pulls out automatically.

7:02am- Your watch notifies you that you forgot your medicine, so you run back to the front door and touch the lock, which unlocks and turns off the alarm thanks to biometrics. Medicine in hand, you shut the door and leave—the house automatically locks and sets the alarm.

7:15am- Your normal route to work is congested, so your GPS automatically re-routes. This route takes you past your normal grocery store. Your refrigerator notices this and sends you a notification that you’re out of milk and you defer the notification for later.

7:25-11:55am- Work is relatively uneventful—you receive several notifications from customer machines about low supplies. You double check and ensure that the technicians have already confirmed their supply shipments.

12:00pm- You take your medication at lunch. By placing a finger on your biometrically secure pill dispensation unit (TAD) you receive a dosage.

5:00pm- On your way home from work, you reroute and stop at the hospital to see your newborn niece. Since your niece was premature, she is connected to a Suck-Swallow-Breathe sensor, collects all of the data about how she is feeding. The data indicates that she will be able to leave the hospital without a feeding tube in the next few days. You add this date to your calendar via your watch.

5:25pm- To your surprise, when you glance at your sister, you notice she’s not hooked to the machines in her room—they’re all reading her vitals wirelessly.

5:45pm- To satisfy your refrigerator, you make a stop at the store for milk and dinner on your way home. At the register, you have your watch tell the house turn your oven on to preheat. Also, you pay at the register by placing a finger on the fingerprint reader and confirm the charge.

5:47pm- Your car notifies you that it will take you 10 minutes to arrive home. Your house responds by adjusting your lighting and the temperature. Upon pulling into the driveway, your garage opens and your car pulls into the garage as you walk to your door. Your car docks itself, begins charging and runs a diagnostic of the car’s operating systems, which is sent to its manufacturer and your mechanic.

10:00pm- The house receives notification that your car needs maintenance; however, your house determines you’ve fallen asleep. It, therefore, defers the notification until morning and schedules a car service to pick you up for work so a technician can work on your car.

To learn more about what we could expect from the third wave, continue reading in our article: Welcome to the Third Wave.

Within the next decade, you should expect all of these things to be widely accepted parts of society. As the Third Wave of technology crests, ensure that your company keeps up, contact our innovative IoT solutions specialists at Ad Victoriam Solutions.

5 Tips for Creating an Awesome Documentation Process

Let’s be honest…documentation is kind of a drag.

The reality is that documenting a process for Salesforce, big data or IoT can be a daunting task, but more importantly, a necessary evil. Here are some tips I have for becoming a self-proclaimed documentation ROCKSTAR!

Tip #1 – Create a standard naming convention to use for all documents.

Creating a naming convention that is both descriptive and consistent will save users time and frustration when searching for the right document. There isn’t a single right way to name user guides, but developing a system that works for your business is the first step to documentation bliss.

Example: [Company Name] – [Short Description] – [Date (YYYY-MM-DD)]

Tip #2 – Add a descriptive header to each document.

Tell your readers key information at the top of your page by highlighting the topic, date created, version number and author. This will allow for an easy view of the document specs at first glance.

awesome-process-documentation

Tip #3 – Provide users with a high-level visual summary of your process.

According to Hubspot, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.

By providing your audience with a visual summary, you can highlight the high-level process before diving into the meat and potatoes. Tools like Lucid Chart allow you to easily create charts and graphs to include in your fabulous documentation.

 decision-maker

Now this is the part where things get REAL…

Tip #4 Provide a clear, informational, concise guide to success.

The most important component of process documentation is a clearly, defined outline of the steps it takes to achieve success. This section should be informational, concise and easy to follow. When working on this section, I like to start by setting the stage for the actual business process – readers will be able to better follow your instruction with a real-life example.

Start with numbering each step and write down the WWWWWH (Who, What, When, Where, Why, How) for EACH step.

Keys to Success: Assume your reader has no knowledge of your current system and/or process. Walk through a real-life example and use images to continue with including visuals as described in the third tip.

Tip #5 Provide a resource for readers to get more information.

And finally, it is always a good practice to include a source for more information. Whether it is a link to a webpage, a help video or an email address, let your users know where they can find more information and ask any questions that might arise.

 

That’s all there is to it! Follow these 5 tips to turn your documentation process from awful to awesome. If you’d like more information on how to better manage your company’s Salesforce, big data or IoT documentation, feel free to reach out to the expert cloud solutions team at Ad Victoriam Solutions.

Has IoT Outgrown Big Data?

As the price of technology continues to level off, it’s likely we’ll continue to see an increase in objects that users want connected to the internet. This flood of internet-connected devices will lead to even more information pouring into the system—and the kicker is, experts haven’t even begun to comprehend what to do with all of this information yet.

While more companies are embracing the importance of data analysis, they aren’t necessarily equipped to handle this influx of information. Not only do companies have to filter through the information they normally collect, but now they have to handle all of the information generated both inside and outside of their companies.

Some of the biggest names in the technology world recently met in San Francisco for Structure Data 2016. According to its website, Structure Data “is bringing together the world’s top computer scientists, software executives and business users to discuss how advances in data technology are already reshaping our world.”

Not surprisingly, one of the topics of discussion centered on the next big problem companies are likely to face in terms of the IoT, including:

  • The information generated by devices inside users’ homes
  • The impact the manufacturing sector is likely to feel from increased industrial internet
  • The challenges healthcare will likely face from baby boomers retiring and an influx of self-health apps

The source of these problems stems from how data analysis works. Prior to the IoT boom, once a problem was deduced, a data set was drawn up and loaded into software that analyzes the information. However, the data derived from IoT devices will easily overwhelm this kind of system. Unfortunately, many engineers are stuck in their old habits of how they’ve built data infrastructures in the past, which is unlikely to work for the potential IoT data of the future.

This means that opportunities abound for technological advancements as well as for analysis companies, developers, data scientists and engineers to break into the world of the IoT. While this may give the impression that there are not players in the IoT game already, in actuality some big IoT players are already hard at work.

For more information about the leveraging the Internet of Things for your business, contact the IoT consultants at Ad Victoriam Solutions. Based in Atlanta, we provide innovative and effective technology solutions for businesses all over the country. Speak to an IoT professional today. 

3 Ways the Internet of Things Will Change Businesses

Whether or not you think you understand the Internet of Things (IoT), you’ve most likely familiarized yourself with it already. How, you may ask? If you own a FitBit (or any type of wearable that works alongside your smartphone) or another piece of “smart” technology (like an alarm system or thermostat)—you are a citizen of the IoT. If you don’t have one of these gadgets, chances are that within five years you will.

Use of the IoT is growing rapidly, and the trend is likely to continue. As a result, businesses (including those that churn out new gadgets) will continue to incorporate the IoT into their products. Experts feel that the IoT will work to change businesses in three major ways.

#1: Businesses will produce better products

What we really mean by “better” in this case is smarter. Cell phones are a prime example of this. Until roughly 10 years ago, the only expectation we had for phones was the ability to make and receive calls. Today, however, we expect them to be everything from our alarm clock to our calendar to our source of knowledge and entertainment. As the IoT continues to change our everyday lives, we’ll also start to become comfortable with the idea that these devices have the ability to control things like yoga mats and frying pans, and savvy businesses will jump on board this growing trend by producing integrated technology products at a faster rate than ever before.

#2: Data will lead to smarter decisions

While the newest smart devices are impressive, the real stars of the show are the sensors that make it all possible. Companies are now making sensors that can send back data by being attached to anything from an aircraft engine to a yogurt cup. The data gleaned from these sensors can (and will) be used to help make the products we use better in the future.

#3: Business will begin to evolve

Chances are, the IoT will begin changing the very models on which businesses are created – in fact, it already has begun. One such example is John Deere. John Deere has long been known for its tractors and other farm equipment. The company is now incorporating big data connectivity to its machines to allow farmers to keep track of their farm digitally.

The Internet of Things is bringing many technological changes to the world. In order to keep up with the changes or to help incorporate the IoT into your business, you’ll need the expertise and knowledge of an IoT consultant at Ad Victoriam Solutions to help get you on track. Contact us today to discuss your needs with us.

Facing the Facts: IoT Security Concerns and Solutions

The Internet of Things is without a doubt one of the most influential tools businesses can use to gather useful data and information, allowing for smarter business decisions and improved services for customers. However, as Uncle Ben said in the Spiderman movies: “With great power comes great responsibility” – especially when it comes to securing the Internet of Things from hackers and cyber threats.

Here’s a look at the security concerns associated with the IoT and what solutions businesses are providing to protect cloud devices from fraud.

The Problems

The most obvious weakness for the IoT is its massive size. Billions of objects have Internet capabilities, and that number is growing every single day. With more avenues for penetration comes the growing risk of breaching the security measures in place. Security threats are also easily projected onto the types of devices often associated with the IoT: smart appliances, home security systems or fitness trackers. These devices are not outfitted with proper security software, leaving them more vulnerable to threats.

To add to this, the Internet of Things is so new that there is no real agreement as to how its security should be handled. What steps or programs should be put to use to protect not only the data but the privacy of the business and the public? This question, as of late, has hardly any answers.

Potential Solutions

While there is no consensus on a solution to the IoT’s security issues, there are certain steps that businesses, and in some cases the public, have been implementing themselves to secure data and privacy. They include:

  • Updating or finding new security software that may better cover IoT devices
  • Expanding networks and staff assigned to network security
  • Integrating security concerns into IoT product development
  • Informing staff and customers about the security risks associated with IoT use

Many desire a standardized, widespread security solution for the IoT, and this may become a reality in the future once more companies and individuals put investment dollars toward the research needed. Until then, the Internet of Things will continue to provide an abundance of useful data for businesses despite its security holes.

For more information about the Internet of Things and how it works hand-in-hand with businesses and expanding technologies, check out our blog or talk to one of our professional IoT consultants today.

How IoT is Revolutionizing Healthcare

innovation technologies

The recent rise in the popularity of fitness technology (i.e. smart watches and Fitbits) is beginning to show the impact that the “internet of things” (IoT) is having on the healthcare industry. However, these devices are only the beginning of how technology is revolutionizing healthcare.

As it stands, any medical device that allows for the transfer of data – including data hubs, communication networks, microprocessors, etc. – is a driving force behind the intersection of IoT and the healthcare system. Given that confidential patient data is the connecting piece of the puzzle, privacy concerns and constraints remain a hot topic; however, the healthcare industry is still interested in exploring any opportunities to make the IoT work for them.

The ultimate goals of IoT integration in healthcare are to cut costs, ensure the ill/injured are cared for properly, and make healthcare professionals more efficient.

While those inside the healthcare industry seek to find ways to incorporate the IoT, patients are taking their health into their own hands. A rising tide of people are using wearable fitness products, apps and sensors to collect and analyze their medical information. Many industry experts feel that this is an essential first step in the direction of integrating this patient data seamlessly into the healthcare system.

As the rates of IoT-Healthcare technology use continue to climb, these types of IoT projects are only beginning. There is no shortage of ideas on how to incorporate IoT into the medical field and what’s better is that several leading enterprise technology companies stand ready to help.

With the backing of Ad Victoriam Solutions, an Atlanta-based IT strategy consulting firm, the healthcare facilities that wish to participate in IoT will be able to make themselves much more efficient and competitive. Additionally, they’ll have the option to easily share information, which will help increase patient quality of care, improve both internal and external communications, and more efficiently track medical supplies.

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many ways IoT can be used to improve the daily operations of those in the medical field. Only time will tell what else will be dreamed up.

For more information about leveraging IoT technology for your business or practice, contact the big data consultants at Ad Victoriam Solutions. You can read up on the 3 Major Players in the IoT Space: Salesforce®Microsoft and AWS.

Will Changing Wi-Fi Standards Help Utilize IoT Better?

Wi-Fi has certainly presented its share of problems – namely the ever-present threat of a shoddy connection and speeds that aren’t necessarily compatible with the connected devices that so many business and individuals are beginning to use on a daily basis.

Fortunately, there may be a solution on the horizon for connecting the Internet of Things with Wi-Fi that works with IoT devices hand-in-hand.

The Wi-Fi Alliance is a nonprofit organization that focuses on making Wi-Fi easier to access and use around the globe. They’ve recently announced a new technology called HaLow which promises to increase the capability of Wi-Fi to connect with lower powered IoT devices, particularly in the home.

This capability is to be done by not only extending the range of the Wi-Fi, but decreasing the bandwidth to 9000MHz, a level that takes less battery power and is a sharp jump down from the typical 2.4GHz or 5GHz that most people have in their home routers.

According to Brian Barrett, “It’s Wi-Fi for smartwatches and Internet-enabled coffee makers and whatever other connected appliance might suit your deranged fancy.”

The past solution to connecting these small devices has been Bluetooth; however, HaLow sets out to solve the limitations presented by this solution like short range and the inability to connect devices directly to the Internet.

What does this mean for business?

The Internet of Things provides a constant stream of usable data that businesses can use for analytics and decision-making within their company. The IoT provides valuable information on consumer feedback and product utilization. With this new Wi-Fi option, IoT devices are going to be working even better than before, providing the important data that businesses crave and giving an even more reliable picture.

To learn more about the Internet of Things and how it can help grow your business, contact one of our data & analytics specialists today. Also, continue browsing our blog regularly for updates on the latest technologies and capabilities!

Cognitive Computing and the Internet of Things

brain

The Internet of Things (IoT) is quickly growing across various sectors of technology commonly used today, especially in terms of cognitive computing. As we’ll explore below, IoT is already being used in the medical field, retail outlets and event management.

IoT and Medical Tech

Implanted medical devices are saving hundreds of thousands of lives each year. Wouldn’t it be even better if the data collected from the devices could be processed along with other medical data to help improve cognitive insights?

The FDA is working to do just this by developing a system for medical devices that have unique identifiers. Once these devices are implemented, each will have a unique device identifier (UDI), which will be readable both in machine and human form. The hopes are that a UDI system will make patients safer and that there will be an innovation boom.

IoT and Retail

The IoT is also helping to revolutionize the retail industry by facilitating better communication between customers and venders. Studies show that weather can have a huge impact on a person’s shopping habits—it can dictate whether a person goes shopping as well as the products they chose to purchase. If retailers could have a better idea of the weather conditions at each store location, they could better prepare their stock and do so in a more personalized fashion.

IoT and Event Management

Event management can also benefit from the IoT. Take Oktoberfest, for example, which draws in crowds of roughly 6 million each year. By incorporating IoT into this popular festival, event organizers would be able to implement more creative serving methods and keep track of attendees more efficiently. Recent implementation of bracelets with IoT location information can manage crowd control and keep festival goers safer.

Additionally, two inventors have developed an innovative table and coaster system that uses sensors to track how many times patrons lift their beer mugs. This data is then relayed to waiters who are able to refill beer just as the mugs are emptied.

All of this data is made possible by the Internet of Things.

It’s obvious that the IoT will continue to grow in the coming years. The IoT consultants at Ad Victoriam Solutions can help you stay abreast of the changes coming to IoT platforms. Contact us, or check out our blog for further information on big data, the Internet of Things and much more.

2015: The Year of Big Data

big data

This year has been full of ups and downs, with many looking forward to a brand new start those New Year’s promises. One thing that’s clear: it has been a big year for “big data.” Big data analytics and enterprise solutions have reached new heights in helping businesses run smoothly and efficiently, employing the newest technology for optimal big data storage, security and usage.

Here, we’ll take a quick and dirty look at some of big data’s largest strides in 2015.

The Internet of Things

If 2015 has brought us anything, it’s an abiding affinity for Internet of Things devices: wearable, portable, connected devices that allow individuals to access the Internet anywhere. This translates to those device holders receiving and sending data at a significantly increased pace, giving companies significantly more data to deal with. Big data has had to evolve in order to make sense of this IoT data and make it useful for businesses. Big data analytics and cloud computing are key to making sense of the every-growing wave of IOT data. While the utilization of IoT data is still in the early stages, 2016 promises new software and technologies equipped to handle the ever-growing Internet of Things.

Organization

Not only has this year brought more data, it has given businesses – both big and small – more and better options for organizing big data into useful information to spur on company growth. This is due, in part, to the growing influence of cloud computing and a growing number of software platforms that utilize that power. This software possesses the ability to express a business’s big data information across differing applications and software, making that data more accessible and readily available.

Recognition

Perhaps the largest leap for big data in 2015 has been its increased recognition as a legitimate source of helpful information for businesses. More and more businesses are investing their assets into the collection and analyzing of big data to reach company goals and maximize efficiency.

With further growth in security, faster data collection, and consumer personalization/satisfaction, big data has spent 2015 becoming the key to success for many businesses. As for 2016, the only way to go is up!

Want to increase your business’s utilization of big data analytics? Ad Victoriam Solutions has exactly the expertise you need to get your data working for you! Contact us to learn more about how we can help you succeed.

Major Players in the IoT Space, Pt. 4: A Review

If you’ve followed our “Major Players” series, you know that over the past few blog posts we’ve discussed new technologies and advancements that Salesforce®, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Microsoft have made in relation to the Internet of Things, which keeps information easily accessible via devices that can communicate with the cloud.

While these three major players have developed different software and capabilities, all have the same goal of making communication in the Digital Age easier and more efficient while also providing the means for further growth.

Listed below are some of the features that are allowing businesses and individuals to accomplish just that.

Wide Compatibility

Each of our major players offers extensive compatibility with Internet of Things technologies. Salesforce®’s IoT Cloud has the ability to connect instantly to all other employed Salesforce® platforms and programs and transfer data in real-time. That data is not limited to specific devices and can be accessed anywhere the Internet is available, giving an unmatched convenience.

Similarly, Amazon boasts the wide support of “billions of devices and trillions of messages,” meaning that efficient communication is available across devices and across the entire span of the Internet within seconds. The IoT devices are also tracked and managed through AWS apps for efficient action and communication.

Efficient Data

Another high point from these three companies is their ability to harness the data provided by the IoT and channel it into the productivity that businesses need to thrive in the Digital Age. As shown in the scenarios in Part 2 of our series, Microsoft provides users not only the ability to receive data in a timely manner, but also an efficient means to employ that data – whether that be through tracking and adjusting refrigeration temperatures or product availability. Likewise, Salesforce® offers a means for businesses to organize all of the data received from the Internet of Things, making studying and acting on that data a more timely process.

User Control

With the ability to manage and utilize piles and piles of IoT data comes the capacity for administrators to control settings and security for their cloud-compatible devices and information. AWS provides its users with state-of-the-art security measures needed for such large amounts of data, including encryption checkpoints and device security measures to ensure authenticity. AWS also allows administrators to customize the rules for filtering data as they see fit for their needs.

As part of its IoT Business Maturity Model, Microsoft also believes in the importance of custom rule sets that allow the technology to be tailored to the individual user or business depending on their respective needs. As stated above, all is done in the name of utilizing data as efficiently as possible.

We hope you enjoyed this series! Be sure to check out the rest of Ad Victoriam’s blog for the latest in cloud-computing technology and how to employ it for your own service.

We are also available for contact if you would like more information about how we can help your business or employing these technologies.